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Acne is a common skin condition that affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. For some people, it is a fleeting condition that suddenly resolves itself once they hit their teens. But for others, acne is a chronic problem that never really goes away.
Many treatment options are available, from face washes to over-the-counter and prescription medications. Unfortunately, over-the-counter medicines are not potent enough to improve anything other than discoloration.
Among the best skin doctor in Mumbai, Dr. Anju Methil says that acne scars can be tough to treat and usually require professional assistance if you want significant progress.
Read on to learn about the different types of acne scars and how you can get rid of them.
Types Of Acne Scars
Depressed or atrophic scars
A depressed scar is located beneath the surrounding skin. They occur when your body fails to produce enough collagen while the acne is healing. Atrophic scars can be classified into 3 types:
- Ice pick scars
Ice pick scars are very narrow and deep scars that penetrate the dermis. It appears as though your skin has been pierced by a sharp tool like an ice pick. Ice pick scars create small, thin, deep holes in your skin’s surface. Some may have the appearance of a huge, open pore.
Treatment for Ice pick scars
Gone are the days when ice pick scars were treated surgically using methods like punch excision and punch grafting. Dr. Anju Methil uses advanced techniques like laser resurfacing and microneedling.
Laser resurfacing and microneedling have a big difference, and it all has to do with how each treatment works.
Laser Resurfacing: Lasers are designed to use light as their power source. This enables lasers to treat a specific area on the skin, the lasers target brown spots or damaged red veins without hurting the healthy tissue around it. It is a pretty selective and fractional treatment conducted using Erbium Glass Laser or other similar resurfacing devices.
Microneedling Radiofrequency (MNRF): Microneedling is performed by using a tip containing a number of fine needles that are designed to penetrate deeper layers of the skin. These needles deliver radiofrequency wavelengths to the targeted areas without hurting the healthy tissues around them. These wavelengths break down fibrosis and help in the regeneration of collagen and elastin.
Boxcar scars are oval or round depressions and have steep vertical sides. These scars are wide and have a pitted appearance on the skin, making your skin appear uneven.
Treatment for Boxcar scars
Boxcar scars were previously treated with surgical methods like Punch excision and Punch elevation. Dr. Anju Methil employs sophisticated techniques like:
Dermal fillers are the most commonly used treatment for boxcar scars. These are injected into the scar, thus raising the depressed parts of your skin, resulting in the scar being more even with the skin surrounding it.
Comparatively, dermal fillers are quicker and more straightforward operations. Although the results are not permanent, they can last from 18 months – 2 years.
Microneedling, as explained above, is a technique involving a dermaroller that pricks your skin and stimulates collagen production. This results in smoother and firmer skin.
Laser resurfacing is also an option. Many distinct types of lasers exist, each of which operates in a somewhat different manner. However, in general, lasers aid in the formation of new skin tissue and collagen, resulting in an improvement in the color and texture of your skin.
These scars are characterized by the presence of wavelike or rolling depressions over otherwise normal-appearing skin. They are not sharply defined as boxcar scars. The skin appears to be uneven and rough.
Treatment for Rolling scars
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) refers to an injection used to treat acne scars. By injecting this enhanced plasma into the body, healing is intended to be accelerated. PRP therapy is frequently applied to an injured site but has anti-aging benefits that can improve the appearance of your skin overall. In order to speed up healing, PRP therapy entails mixing your own platelets and plasma and re-injecting the resulting mixture into the affected areas on your skin.
Dr. Anju Methil explains that the proteins and nutrients in the plasma itself aid in the biological renewal of your skin cells. Because we use your own platelets and plasma, your tailored therapy may start right away without having to worry about compatibility difficulties.
Subcision is a simple surgical technique to treat rolling scars effectively. This procedure can be completed as an outpatient treatment under a local anesthetic. The surgeon inserts a needle parallel to the affected skin and cuts the fibrous root of the scar that is dragging your skin down. After these bands have been removed, your skin will look smoother.
Raised or hypertrophic scars and Keloid Scars
Acne scars on the chest and back are the most prevalent hypertrophic scars. Elevated above the layer of the surrounding skin, these scars are caused by the production of excessive collagen during the healing process.
Keloids are a significantly severe type of elevated scar and grow to be larger than the actual wound. In addition, they can send raised, lateral shoots that can extend much further than the wound area and continue growing for a long time even after the original wound heals.
Treatment for Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids
Treatments include cortisone (steroid) creams, cryotherapy (freezing your scars with liquid nitrogen), silicone gels, pulsed dye laser treatments, tapes, and injections to aid in shrinking and flattening your scars.
When treating these scars, extreme caution must be exercised to avoid irritating the skin, resulting in the keloid becoming worse.
Treatment for Superficial scars
Superficial scars occur on the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin. Dr. Anju Methil treats these scars by employing skin boosters and peels.
Skin boosters restore the skin’s hydrobalance, increase suppleness, and improve skin structure from the inside out giving off a vibrant, young luster. It improves the appearance of damaged skin by making it appear more like unscarred skin.
Chemical peels utilize a chemical substance to remove the top layer of your old skin and enhance the appearance of superficial scarring. The old affected skin is replaced with new skin that is smoother and less uneven in appearance.
Please speak with Dr. Anju Methil, an eminent skin specialist in Mumbai, to find the best treatment option for you.
In most cases, skin discoloration after your pimple has healed is not an acne scar. It is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation appears as a flat patch (neither pitted nor raised) that varies in hue from pink to red to purple, brown, or even black, depending on your skin type.
Treatment for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
The discoloration can fade away by itself but it will take a very long time. You can speed up the fading process more effectively by certain treatments.
Cosmetics containing alpha-hydroxy acids, available over-the-counter, can help remove slight to moderate discoloration. Topical retinoid or azelaic acid creams prescribed by a dermatologist and creams containing vitamin C or hydroquinone are effective treatments for more intense post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Skin specialist Dr. Anju Methil recommends treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion and Q-switched lasers.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive technique that exfoliates your skin gently to reduce aging signs.
Q-Switched lasers are revolutionary type of lasers which deliver high-intensity beams of energy in extremely short pulses to target and break down the pigmentation.
Steps to prevent acne formation and scars
Dr. Anju Methil, an acclaimed cosmetologist in Mumbai, says that you can take simple steps to prevent acne or reduce the chances of acne leaving scars.
The food you eat is a crucial part of acne prevention and treatment. The quality of your diet can significantly impact how your skin looks and feels.
The underlying cause of acne is excess oil production. Picking or popping your acne can spread the pus and bacteria from your acne to the surrounding skin.
Wash Your Face Regularly
When you wash your face, you remove dead skin cells and reduce oil build-up on the surface of your skin. This prevents excess bacteria from clogging pores and growing into blocked follicles.
Wearing sunblock (with an SPF of at least 30) can prevent further damage to your skin and improve the appearance of acne scars.
Switch to natural skincare products
Switch from products with harsh chemicals and preservatives to natural skincare products like avocado oil, rosehip oil, cocoa butter, cucumber, and coconut oil.
The first step to treating your acne scars is by moisturizing your face. This helps prevent dry skin and the build-up of acne bacteria.
Get a Moderate Amount of Exercise
Exercise is a great way to help your skin look healthy. It can even help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Keep Calm & Hydrated
If you are already stressed out, this can worsen the appearance of your acne scars and make it harder to get rid of them. Keep yourself calm, and stay hydrated by drinking water and eating foods rich in antioxidants.
Exfoliating your skin will help remove the top layer of dead skin cells and help prevent acne from forming.
Acne scars might appear even if you follow the most meticulous and dedicated acne treatment regimen. It is essential to understand the importance of having a healthy diet, taking care of your skin, and staying hydrated when treating acne scars.
If you have acne, you will likely want to keep breakouts under control to the greatest extent possible. If you are still experiencing breakouts, it will be very tough to repair acne scars effectively. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to treat your acne scars.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Anju Methil, a top-notch dermatologist in Mumbai. She can help you with the most suitable acne treatment to help get your breakouts under control.